Helllo Mr. Grashoppa!
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
One of my fun classes (seriously!) I'm taking this semester is photography. Anyone who knows me, knows that I will have my camera close by...no matter where we are or what we are doing. And after the mumbling and grumbling is over, and a few months down the line, we are talking about one of our adventures, and I pull out my pictures, those people are very happy that I took them. For example: A few years back, Jeff and I went on a cruise with a group of friends. Me being the shutterbug that I am, took pictures of EVERYTHING. From the amazing food buffet on the ship, to taking pictures while snorkeling. My hubby and friends were not all that thrilled that I was constantly snapping pictures, but boy were they thrilled to see what I had to show once they were developed!
Anyhoo...in this class, I'm learning to shoot in manual mode. I was always so scared of that mode, simply because you have to make all the decisions yourself, as far as aperture and shutter speed, and light source, etc., are concerned. I didn't know where to start as far as teaching myself, and reading some of the online tutorials were just downright confusing!
As luck would have it, my professor has been teaching photography for about 30 plus years here at my school. He has done some AMAZING work, and I just sit in awe most days, as he shows us some examples of his work.
He has deciphered this confusing talk about aperture, and shutter speed, and shallow depth of field and great depth of field, yada, yada, yada...for me, into terms I can comprehend, and some of the work that I have produced I am quite proud of! And because of this, I would like to share them with you. Aren't you so lucky?
My first examples are shallow depth of field. The best way for me to describe it is that you have a main subject in focus, with the rest of the picture appearing blurred. This is due to the aperture size. I have always LOVED pictures like this, and was always thrilled when I had one turn out this way when shooting in automatic mode. I just could never figure out how I did. But, now I know!
The next type of picture we had to take was great depth of field. This means that everything in your picture is in focus, while you have a subject in the foreground that helps bring your eye to the "back" of the picture. My favorite example is the one below.
Another type of picture we had to take was called a panning picture. This is the one I struggled with the most. Both with the creativty and the settings on my camera. I like perfection in my work, and I was constantly throwing aside pictures that I didn't think were good enough for my assignment. Finally, this weekend, while at a friends house, I was able to capture the below picture of my step-daughter, Elayna. I was so stoked I got it!
I can't tell you how many miles I spent driving around and around in my little town trying to come up with subjects for my assignment. I litterally had my camera with me every second of every day, just in case I came across something. Thankfully, I had it this particular day when I drove by the local water park, and got the idea to shoot some pictures there. The little boy in this first picture wanted to be in the picture SO bad, and I was trying so hard not to photograph him, since I hadn't asked permission. Well, his nanny came up, and asked if I needed him out of the pictures, and I found it to be the perfect opportunity to see if I could photograph him. She gladly agreed, and the little boy worked out perfectly!
The first picture shows blur movement. He is in focus, while the water is blurred behind him. The second picture, and last of my assignment, is called stop motion. And just like it says, stop is when your subject(s) are frozen in motion.
Friday, September 24, 2010
*This post is about my experience participating in a cadaver lab.
It recounts detailed observations about a deceased human being.*
Wednesday afternoon I experienced one of the most profound things in my life. And I'm not even sure profound can properly give credit where credit is due.
Since I am in Anatomy and Physiology, and my study focus is nursing, I was able to participate in a cadaver lab. For almost a week, I was totally psyched up for it. A group of girls in my class planned on going together, and I'm so glad we did it together.
While in the hallway waiting for the lab to start, we were chatting with one of the lab assistants. She gave great insight on what to expect.
The good and the not so good.
My professor showed up, and we entered the lab. There was a huge metal cart in the middle, with lights on each end, with a body in a plastic bag. I could tell that people weren't wanting to look, but couldn't help but to look. Me included.
We were told that the woman was 90 years old when she passed away. The cause of death was a stroke.
We all got our gear on, and kinda stayed on the other side of the lab, until our professor encouraged us to come over. The first thing I noticed was the women's painted fingernails.
As our professor and the lab assistant prepared the body for dissection, it hit me. This woman could be someone's mom. Someones sister perhaps. Grandmother. Great-grandmother. Wife.
What an amazing process I was able to be involved in. What a gift. Truly.
I wondered what she was thinking when she decided to donate her body to science. If you think about it, most women from her generation didn't have a formal education. Most were housewives. Or maybe she was one of the few woman of her day that had a formal education. Either way, profound is about one of the only words I can come up with.
Then the smell of the formaldehyde hit me. They tried to prepare the ones that had not been to a cadaver lab before, but I'm convinced that you can't prepare someone for that smell. No way.
When a dissection is started on a human, they start in the prone position, or face down. The lab had actually started last week, so the skin was already cut, with her muscles exposed. This semester, we will unveil the different muscle groups, and also look at her spine. It was amazing to me to see that you could visibly see the difference from her right side to her left side. She was paralyzed on the right side of her body, and you could visibly tell. Amazing.
It is all so intriguing. And respectful. Truly.
The body is handled with great care. The incisions made are precise. The body is not made into a mockery. It is respected and appreciated by all.
Her head is covered in what I considered to be an old lady's shawl. Seriously. It's flowery, and pretty...and just reminds me of something my grandmother has in her linen closet. And it's tied in a way that her head is covered, but not what you would consider to be smothering. Respectful.
I had no idea that people did this. I knew that this was done, but I never even considered how the body would get to that point, as far as being donated.
Our cadaver has a tag on her ankle, which says "Property of the Anatomical Board of the State of Florida", so I looked it up.
Come to find out, the families or power of attorney's are not compensated for the donation. Actually, they have to pay to have the body initially prepared for the donation. After the body has been dissected, the remains are cremated, and the family can request to receive the ashes, or the board will spread the ashes over the Gulf of Mexico.
I can't put my finger on it...but this is all so intriguing. From the beginning, where a person makes this gracious decision, to how the faculty and students treat the donated body.
I'm wondering what your thoughts would be. Would this be something you would consider? For yourself or a family member?